The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) has approved the sale of Scotiabank’s operations to Trinidad & Tobago’s Republic Financial Holding Limited (RFHL) in Dominica and several other countries of the sub-region, minus Antigua and Barbuda.
The ECCB disclosed the information in a release last week, stating that it has, “in consultation with the ECCB Monetary Council, approved the application for the transfer of the assets and liabilities of the Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS) to the Republic Financial Holding Limited (RFHL) in Dominica, Anguilla, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, pursuant to Section 43 of the Banking Act.
The release added that “discussions on the future of Scotiabank’s operations in Antigua and Barbuda are ongoing.”
When the bank first made the announcement, they received a backlash from Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne.
And now, he has said that the twin island is now in a better position than before.
“In the first instance, the only leverage that we had would have been not issuing the vesting order. Now we’re in a better position because, guess what? They neither have approval from the Central Bank nor would they get the vesting order. So our position is even stronger today than it was two days ago,” Browne, who is also the country’s Finance Minister, said.
The RFHL stated in a release that the ECCB has said that it believes that the corporate banking record of the Republic Group and its extensive network of correspondent banks will bode well for the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) banking sector.
In November of 2018, the Republic Group announced that it had entered into an agreement to acquire the BNS banking operations in various territories. The execution of the agreement signalled the commencement of a transaction that remains subject to all regulatory and other customary approvals and conditions.
This approval is the most recent of those gained by RFHL since the announcement. Previous approvals include a letter of “No Objection” from the Central Bank of Curacao and St. Maarten and approval from the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago (CBTT).